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U.S. Sept. construction spending up 0.2%

U.S. Sept. construction spending up 0.2% (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Outlays for U.S. construction projects rose 0.2% in September, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The increase put spending on building at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.2 billion. This is below the $799.6 billion level reached in June. The gain in construction spending in September was slightly below analysts' expectations of a 0.3% gain. Year-over-year, construction spending is down 1.3%. There were revisions to the prior two months. Spending in August was revised up to a 1.6% gain compared with the initial estimate of a 1.4% increase. However, spending in July was revised to a 3.3% drop compared with the prior estimate of a 1.4% decline. In September, spending on private construction paced the increase, rising 0.6% for the second straight month. Residential construction rose 0.9%. Spending on public projects fell 0.6% in September after jumping 3.5% in the previous month. School construction fell 0.9% in the month. Spending by the federal government fell 6.8% in September, the most since last December.